National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC)

BGS Data

The National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) collects and preserves geoscientific data and information, making them available for the long-term to a wide range of users and communities. NGDC is recognised as the NERC Environmental Data Centre for geoscience data.

The NGDC is responsible for managing geoscientifically valuable information and datasets. Data held covers many geological disciplines that deal with the physical structure of the Earth and the processes which act on it as measured from geological time to near-real-time sensor and data streams. It is the NGDC policy to preserve this data which underpins the existing scientific record and make it accessible for future re-use to a wide range of user communities.

It is the policy of NGDC to store data that is;

  • high quality, scientifically significant and of potential research or commercial interest to scientists and academics or policy makers in the future
  • a geoscience data output from NERC funded earth science projects and programmes
  • digitally born, enabling easy future re-use and access by a diverse range of end-user communities
  • preserved in the long-term to maintain its accessibility and usability by taking appropriate digital preservation actions throughout the data lifecycle
  • deposited by the owner or someone who has the rights to donate the data to NGDC (therefore granting NGDC a non-exclusive “in-perpetuity licence” to hold and disseminate the data)
  • compliant with our data policy and data value checklist


It is also the statutory responsibility of NGDC to receive data associated with;

  • boreholes drilled from the surface to a depth of more than 30m for mineral exploration/extraction purposes (Mining Industry Act 1926)
  • boreholes drilled deeper than 15 m for water (Water Resources Act 1991 and Water (Scotland) Act 1980).
  • Hydrocarbon well data (as per PON9/9b).


It is the policy of NGDC to ensure data is deposited with the following;

  • standards compliant metadata that explains the dataset and makes it easy to discover and facilitates re-use
  • terms and conditions that clearly define how the data can be used in the future (NGDC prefer to hold data with no access or use restrictions – ‘open data’)


It is the policy of NGDC to;

  • store a copy of the data ‘as supplied’ in a Data Holding Store (in an agreed format)
  • incorporate (when funding permits) the data within our existing nationally consistent datasets
  • provide data management advice and guidance to geoscientists working upon earth science projects
  • ensure the data is discoverable and provide open access to any unrestricted data held in the Data Holding Store or the nationally consistent datasets
  • create Digital Object Identifiers (DOI’s) for appropriate digital datasets on request, facilitating data citation and display these alongside the data
  • encourage the use of these datasets for a full range of academic and commercial purposes including future scientific projects and within information products or decision support systems.

Information for funded NERC researchers
NERC-funded researchers can find out further information about depositing data with the NGDC.

NERC data policy
NERC has a well-established data policy that sets the ground rules that all those funded by NERC must follow in managing the data that they collect.

NGDC have a digital preservation policy to ensure the long-term continuity of digital geoscience data in its care.

Open Government Licence
The Open Government Licence (OGL) is a simple set of terms and conditions that facilitates the re-use of a wide range of public sector information free of charge.

Access the NGDC

NGDC deposit data

Deposit data with NGDC

Guidelines for depositing data with NGDC.

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NGDC data search

Search deposited data

Discover data that has been ingested by the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) and the National Geological Repository (NGR).

Search data

NGDC data management

We maintain a wealth of data, information and other materials gathered throughout the history of the organisation.

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NGDC cited data

Credit is gained by dataset creators, and awareness is improved, by citing datasets in the same manner as journal articles.

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BGS iGeology app


OpenGeoscience is a free service where you can view maps, download data, scans, photos and other information.

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Need more information?

For general NGR and NGDC enquiries or to arrange a visit, please phone 0115 936 3143 or contact our enquiries team

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